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A poster: Q: What Does "Community Benefit" Mean? A: This term means different things to people in the health sector and the community development or organizing sectors, which can get confusing. Two sections of text titled "Hospital Community Benefit Requirement" and "Community Benefits Agreements," with clip art to illustrate. Image links to PDF version
Explainers

Q: What Does ‘Community Benefit’ Mean?

A: This term means different things to people in the health sector and the community development or organizing sectors, which can get confusing.

A large graffiti'd mural, painted in a cartoonish style, showing an apparently homeless family of three standing near a traffic light. The mother is handing a box or carton of stuff to the child, whose other hand is reaching to the father figure. He is holding up a sign that says "Help us." Facial features were not drawn on these figures, giving them a universal quality.
Opinion

What’s Driving Homelessness? It’s Not Immigration and It’s Not Opioids.

Homelessness rose by 12 percent between 2022 and 2023. Blaming drug use and immigration for the increase distracts us from the real causes.

A white, ranch-style home.
Reported Article

Instead of Demolishing, Hospital Lets Homeless Coalition Relocate Houses

When a Wisconsin health care system needed to clear space for a parking lot, it sold the homes for $1 and donated land to move them to.

A collage of photos from stories that appeared on Shelterforce, with 2023 etched in the center.
Community Development Field

Shelterforce’s Top 10 Stories of 2023

What were the biggest Shelterforce stories of the year? We count down the top 10 of 2023.

Concept bold thinking—individual red paper plane flies in different direction in contrast to crowd of ordinary white planes
Opinion

How to Really Reform the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program

Adding more credits and making tweaks do not actually address some of the major weaknesses of the program. We should be bolder.

Close-up of a 2012 copper US penny, cut into six pieces of unequal size.
Opinion

You Might Have to Accept Cuts—But Don’t Accept Devaluing of Your Work

As municipalities face post-pandemic fiscal shortages, there’s a longer-term danger lurking behind budget fights.

A composite of four people who are speaking. At top left, a person with a beard and red top, at top right, a person with a red shirt sits in front of a black background; bottom left, a man with a blue shirt sits on a recliner, and at bottom right, a woman with glasses.
Affordability

What Makes Our Homes Accessible?

Four disability activists tell us what they needed to make their homes accessible, and how difficult it can be to find accessible housing.

An outdoor view of an elderly Black man and woman standing on a walkway in a lawn. Lining the walk are large pots with vegetable plants. The woman, in a blue blouse and white slacks, and standing farther from the camera, has a walker right behind her. The man, closer to the camera, is standing by, but not holding onto, a walker. He's wearing a bright blue T-shirt with a yellow tree design, and is smiling broadly.
Reported Article

A COVID Upside: It Pushed Organizations to Do Better

During the pandemic, community development organizations had to work double-time to adapt to residents’ needs. For some, that work yielded important lessons about better helping their communities, permanently.

An orange and brown playground apparatus including a slide, monkey bars, and a treehouse, sits on a bed of wood chips in a grassy park on a sunny day. Four children of varying skin tones play on the equipment. Beyond the park area a man in uniform watches the playground and behind him is a clapboard house.
Practitioner Voice

Rebuilding After Trauma: Public Spaces in Cleveland

Traumatic events, and the ongoing traumas of vacancy and disinvestment, can be strongly associated with the places where they occurred. In Cleveland, several organizations are bringing new function and meaning to traumatized spaces.

View from above of a ferryboat on roiling waters, with clouds of mist off to the right. The water is blue-green with much white foam from the choppy sea
Practitioner Voice

Nonprofit Affordable Housing Developers Navigate Troubled Waters

As housing and building costs rise, nonprofit developers find themselves with strained resources as pandemic relief dries up and tenants need housing assistance more than ever.

Five people are painting a wooden ramp leading up to a white house. Two are wearing white t-shirts and three are wearing blue t-shirts.
Practitioner Voice

Why Housing Policy Should Include More Funding for Home Repairs

Researchers found that older homeowners in St. Louis averaged $13,000 in unmet home repairs. Here’s how advocates can measure home repair need in their own cities, and why repairs make a difference.

Concrete steps on a gently sloping grassy hill go up three steps, then become discontinuous with the steps above them. They're somehow (it's not clear how) raised up, so that on the third step a walker would have to step down before going on to the next step up.
Reported Article

Poor by Design: SSI Asset Caps

Asset caps on SSI and other benefits keep people with disabilities from building up emergency savings and financial security—or buying a home.